Category Archives: New York & Washington DC 2012

Washington D.C Food Guide

Busboys and Poets

My wife loves this place. We went this place couple of times. It’s a part bookstore, part bar, part lounge and part restaurant. Very nice decoration.

It is highly recommended by our host and plenty of reviews online. We had to do our touristy duty to eat at this place.


I had their French Toast breakfast. Toast was great but I find that the one at Norma’s better. Latte was mediocre.

There are a few branches in the city. I went to the one at 5th Street, not too far from our place.

Although heavily promoted by the locals, I don’t find this place as good as they claim it to be. But if you’re looking for a decent place, Busboys and Poets is a good choice.

Address
1025 5th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
PHONE: 202-789-2227
FAX: 202-789-0306
HOURS:
Sunday 9:00 AM – 12:00 Midnight
Monday – Thursday 8:00 AM – Midnight
Friday 8:00 AM – 1:00 AM
Saturday 9:00 AM – 1:00 AM

Website: http://www.busboysandpoets.com/

Map

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Full Kee Chinese restaurant

One restaurant recommended by the local is Chinatown Express. They are reputed to be Washington D.C’s 5 star Chinese restaurant. I must say it didn’t taste like Chinese food at all!

Full Kee on the other hand was awesome. We ordered dishes and they were all awesome.


Fried rice was memorable. We ordered a plate and it came in a mountain. There was so much that we packed the remaining fried rice and gave it to a hobo on the street.

Address
509 H Street, N. W. Washington, D.C. 20001
Website: http://www.fullkeedc.com/

Map

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Chinatown Coffee

It’s just a few shops away from Full Kee. It’s probably the best coffee place in the city. Latte has a nutty taste and is excellent.

They use an iPad as their cash register. Once you’re done ordering, you can email or text your receipt to yourself!

Address
475 H Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001, United States
(202) 559-7656
Website: chinatowncoffee.com‎

Map

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Washington D.C 2012


Train station at Washington DC

As mentioned in my previous post”New York City & Washington D.C“, I took my INTA conference easy. My wife and I spent most of our time sightseeing and eating.

We also joined a bicycle tour which was organised through one of the INTA LinkedIn groups. Strangely, the group I joined had only 1 lady from the LinkedIn group. Anyway, the three hours tour was great. We got to see many national monuments.

I’m not very good on a bike. I was a bit worried that I will get knocked down by some car. But the roads are pretty wide and clear and not many cars around. There are many bike lanes too. It’s quite safe.


There was even a half an hour boat ride on Potomac river. Once the boat ride was done, we rode back to our meeting point.

There was one night where my wife and I had dinner with my associate from China, Gloria and Indian associate, Nitin.

Nitin then brought me to this place called Bier Baron, a pub with 500 over beers to choose!

I also got to meet Ee Young, a former colleague of mine, for breakfast. He works in the legal department of a Taiwanese IT company and he gets to travel around the world. How awesome.

I allocated one whole day to visit some of the museums. Perhaps the most interesting museum is the Abraham Lincoln museum. It is located in the Ford Theatre, where he was shot. Some lady gave us free tickets because she had extras. We didn’t need to line up to enter!


The gun that shot Abe

You can also visit the hotel which he died after being shot.


Reconstruction of the hotel where Abe died.


The bed where Abe died


Pile of books about Abe! But it’s fake.

In this museum, you, I got to learn about American history in particular the time era where Abe was still around.

We also did visit the Smithsonian museum but no pictures here as my camera ran out of battery. -_-

We rode a bike from Capital Bikeshare back to our place. Capital Bikeshare is a service where people can rent a bike from one of the many bike stations around Washington DC. The station is unmanned hence you need a credit card to unlock the bike.

Once you’re done, find the nearest Capital Bikeshare bike station to return the bike.

Overall, the trip to Washington DC is rather uneventful. It’s a quiet and safe city. We didn’t worry when we were walking around the city in the middle of the night.

New York City Food Guide – Part 2

My wife and I didn’t do much research on the places to eat. Most of the places we were found using Yelp when we were around a particular area. Fortunately, free Wifi was ample in Manhattan and we could surf the net anywhere we wanted. In fact, you can even get Wifi at parks!

Cafe Lalo @ Upper West Side

Apparently Sarah Jessica Parker, the star of War Horse, goes here. Famed for their organic food, you won’t find any pork or poultry on the menu.


Notwithstanding that, food was pretty good especially their Belgian waffles. Their crispy waffles is served with maple syrup, cream and fresh strawberry. Heavenly I must say!

There is usually a queue to get a seat especially during peak time e.g weekends.

Address
201 West 83rd St.
New York, NY 10024

Website: http://cafelalo.com/cafe/
Opening Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 8am-2am

Friday: 8am-4am
Saturday: 9am-4am

Sunday: 9am-2am
Holidays until 4am


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Clinton Street Baking Company

This place is located amongst the good eateries of Lower East Side of Manhattan. So good that the queue is extremely long queue. The wait can go up to 1 hour but fortunately we got in within 20 minutes. There is a cafe, namely Pause cafe, which serves good coffee and free WiFI. We had coffee there while waiting for our turn to be called.

We ordered Pancakes with warm maple syrup (USD12) and Southern Breakfast.


Blueberry pancakes was extremely good. Fluffy and large in portion. Maple syrup complements the dish.


Southern dish on the other hand was interesting. Their sugar cured bacon was awesome but the rest was just okay. I would order something else if I had another chance.

Address
4 Clinton Street (btw. East Houston & Stanton)
New York, NY 10002

Website: http://www.clintonstreetbaking.com/

Opening Hours:
sunday:
open 9am to 6pm (no dinner on sundays)
monday thru friday:
open 8am – 4pm and 6pm to 11pm
saturday:
open 9am – 4pm and 6pm to 11pm
The restaurant is closed Monday thru Saturday from 4 to 6pm.


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Yonah Schimmel Knishery

With over 100 years of history, the premise aged together with the business. Yonah Schimmel Knishery doesn’t have beautiful decor but it does have a lot of history on its walls. Sitting in the shop itself can be a history lesson of the place.

A knish consists of a filling covered with dough that is either baked, grilled, or deep fried and it is a Jewish snack food. To me, it taste like a savory tar sar peng but with potato fillings.

Address
137 East Houston Street
New York, NY 10002
Between 1st & 2nd – The Lower East Side
Phone/Fax (212) 477-2858

Website: http://knishery.com/


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Laboratorio del Gelato

As the name suggest, this place looks like a laboratory. Its interior is mostly white and the walls are made of glass.


You can actually see how gelato is made in their kitchen.

It’s just a few streets away from Clinton Street Baking Company. It’s been featured in many mainstream medias.

We had their strawberry gelato. It was not bad. Salted caramel seems to be pretty popular as it was the only flavour that ran out.

They also have other unique flavours. Ginger is one of them. Big fat Euw!

Address
188 Ludlow Street
(at East Houston)
New York, NY 10002
Te: 212 343 9922

Opening hours:
monday to thursday 7:30am – 10pm
friday 7:30am – midnight
saturday 10am – midnight
sunday 10am – 10pm

Website: http://www.laboratoriodelgelato.com/


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La Mela Ristorante @ Little Italy

Another Zagat rated restaurant on Little Italy. This Italian ristorante occupies three lots.


Three Types Pasta was awesome. Although small in proportion, one dish was enough to feed my wife and I.

Surprisingly, their cafe latte was not bad.

Tirasmisu on the other hand was just alright. Nothing to shout about.

I would recommend people to come here for their pasta.

Address
167 Mulberry Street
New York,
NY 10013, United States
Tel: (212) 431-9493

Website: http://www.lamelarestaurant.com/


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Norma’s @ Le Meridian

This place was a little bit upscale. Food starts from USD20. Cappuccino was USD7 and orange juice was also USD7!

Apparently this place is well known but Yelp criticized this place like mad.

But I must say that their Crispy French Toast (USD21) was great. Sprinkled with crispy rice, it was massive in size. Crust was crispy but the bread was soft. My wife and I shared it and it filled the both of us up!

[Note: Also try Burger Joint if you’re in the same building]

Address
119 West 56th Street
New York, NY 10019,
United States
Tel: (212) 708-7460

Website: http://www.parkermeridien.com/eat1.php


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Totto Ramen
After waiting for 30 minutes for a spot, we finally managed to squeeze ourselves into this small tiny Japanese restaurant.


Maximum 4 people per table.


Niku Ramen was good. It was a meat galour. Full of yummy tender beef!


Half meat, Half Fat. Ah.

Broth was thick and flavoured. But it is not as good as Ichiran in Fukuoka. Although the first few bites were good, the taste sort of died down towards the end. It is no where near Ichiran in Fukuoka!

Address
366 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019,
United States
Tel: (212) 582-0052

Opening Hours:
Mon – Fri 12pm – 12am
Sat 12pm – 11pm
Sun 5pm – 11pm

Website: http://tottoramen.com/


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New York City – Sightseeing


Typical NYC sight

My wife has never been to New York City hence we went to the usual sightseeing spots like the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Centre and Central Park. But this time round, we explored the city for good spots to eat. Will write another food guide for this.

Speaking about Rockefeller Centre, we went up to the Top of the Rock at night to see the concrete jungle at night. The sight is better at Empire States Building as they only barricade the top using clear glass walls. Also, some parts are not barricaded leaving you a clear view of the skyline.

We also visited the World Trade Center Memorial and also the National September Memorial & Museum. I visited the former when I was in New York two years ago. It still looks the same after two years but they have loads of tissue boxes placed around the memorial. I guess some people could not hold their tears.

The latter (minus the Museum) is now open to the public. The memorial is located at the World Trade Center site, on the former location of the Twin Towers. The memorial has two square pools, where the Twin Towers once stood. It also has names of all the victims engraved on bronze plates attached to parapet walls which forms the edges of the memorial pools.

There are a few other interesting sites around the World Trade Center area. One World Trade Center (formerly known as Freedom Tower) is still under construction but it’s a great sight.

The 200 over years old St. Paul’s Church is also worth visiting.


September 11?

Catching a play in New York City is a must. This time round, we caught “How to succeed in business without really trying” starring Nick Jonas.

Unlike the last play I caught namely Avenue Q (which I fell asleep. Sorry Tim!), this show was quite interesting and entertaining. It’s basically about how a young guy (Nick Jonas) climbs the corporate ladder. Plenty of tips and tricks but unfortunately, it’s no longer relevant to me since I’m not an employee anymore (not young too!)

After the show, we walked back to Times Square to find this.

We overheard some guy saying, “I can’t believe the crowd here. It’s not Barack Obama but Ricky Martin!”. Looks like everyone was trying to catch of glimpse of Ricky Martin. Reallly??

One of the best thing about New York City is accidentally finding interesting places. We passed by a flea market.

There was a small stall selling antiques and there were stamps. I managed to find 4 antique stamps.


Siam Occupation of Kelantan stamps. During the Japanese occupation in World War II, Kelantan was controlled by Thailand.

It costs around US$50 on eBay but the guy sold it to me for US$4! F YEAAAH!!

New York City & Washington D.C

Since I got married in January, my wife and I haven’t had the time to go for our honeymoon. When I got the news that the International Trademarks Association (INTA) is having their annual conference at Washington D.C, I decided to head for the conference with my wife.

The journey, through Emirates Airlines, was fine. There were plenty of shows on their inflight entertainment services. But a kid in front of us kept disturbing us. He even took my wife’s shoes and hid it. -_-

Worst part of it is that, his mother did nothing to stop him. Speaking about his mother, she asked me whether the flight goes to New York City when we were about to board the flight at the boarding area. -_-

We stayed in YMCA hostel in New York City. It was terrible place. The room was dirty. I had allergy probably due to dust mites/beg bugs.


Lousy room for around US$100 per night.

I also accidentally cut myself on the forehead. The bunk bed in our room was low and it had metal spring poking out from top. I sat back and somehow bounced slightly. My forehead suffered a deep cut from one of the sharp edges of the metal spring.


The springs

We engaged a New York based photographer, Ulysses Photography, to take our pictures at Central Park. The husband and wife team consisting of Ulysses and Jenni were excellent. They charge by the hour and we only booked them for an hour. However, we were late. Fortunately, Ulysses and Jenni were kind enough to not charge us for being late an even extended our session without charge. I would highly recommend them.

Speaking about photography business in the United States, they have a different model than ours. Photographers charge extra for high resolution photograph and you don’t get all the photographs like Malaysia. One thing I like about Ulysses Photography (other than their awesome personality) is their style guide. They have a guide on how to dress for each theme or season.


Times Square


Freedom Tower! Notice the plane next to it?

My Internation Trademark Association (INTA) conference was held at Washington D.C. This year round, they had over 9000 participants. However, I only managed to meet less than 20 people -_-. I was told that if you attend the conference more, you will meet less people. But I must also blame myself for not going all out to meet people.

We took a bus to Washington D.C. The four hours ride felt short as they had a power plug and Wifi.

Using the online service Air B & B, we rented a room of Mr and Mrs Blinch. Their place was strategically located few minutes away from the conference area. The room was also a far cry from YMCA as we had a queen size bed, own bathroom, walk in closet, cable TV, complimentary drinks and even a bottle of red wine! No dust mites too!

Conference was held in the middle of the town but most meetings were held outside the conference hall. My meetings were held mostly in hotel lobbies. I managed to bump into many friends whom I didn’t fix any meetings.

I took the conference easy. I didn’t have many meetings fixed and even had one day where I spent the entire day sightseeing. Last time I used go for meetings and receptions from 9am to 1am – everyday!

My goal for this conference was quite simple. To tell my contacts that I’ve set up my own firm. Getting new business contacts was my secondary goal. Unfortunately, I was a little lazy and all I had was 4 new namecards. Uhm.


The house where Lincoln died.

Washington D.C has this service where you rent a bike and once you’re done, you can park it at any of their docking stations which are scattered around the city.

On our last day in Capital View hostel because our Air B&B room was pre-booked by someone else. Capital View was bare and the toilet is extremely dirty. I think I will never stay in hostels again!

We returned to New York City on our last day. We managed to meet up with Raymond whom I met with Timothy Tiah and fourfeetnine during our last New York City trip. He participated in the New York Bersih rally and he said it went really well with 300 over participants. Glad to know Malaysians living outside Malaysia still care about Malaysia.

I know its been a while since I wrote something here but I’ve been extremely busy.

Busy finding money thats it. Till the next blogpost!